The 2014 Winter Olympic Games in Sochi saw Great Britain equal their best ever haul of four medals, and now ahead of the 2018 Games in Pyeongchang, the country has been set a target of between four to ten medals. If they are to achieve this then it will mark Britain’s best ever total at the Winter Games.
The Paralympic team have also been set a high total, with UK sport hoping they will be able to achieve seven medals in South Korea, one more than the six they won in Sochi, but less than their highest ever total of 10 from the 1984 Games in Innsbruck.
The chair of UK Sport, Dame Katherine Grainger said she believes these targets are realistic. She said: “We’ve seen some fantastic results at the recent Winter Olympics and Paralympics Games, but we are seeing more consistency now. So, the ambition is huge, but I think realistic. The sports are inspiring and exciting when we saw Jenny Jones win Britain’s first ever snow medal at the last Winter Games three million people watched, so I think there is a huge benefit in supporting these sports where everyone can get something from them.”
So, where are Britain likely to pick up these medals next month?
Perhaps one of Britain’s most high-profile Winter Olympians is short track speed skater Elise Christie. She became a triple world champion at the 2017 World Championships and therefore goes to Pyeongchang in excellent form and looking to add an Olympic medal to her collection.
Katie Ormerod won a World Cup gold in big air for the first time ever in 2017 and next month will mark her Winter Olympics debut as she hopes to make an impact on the biggest stage. Since the first ever Winter Olympics in 1924, Britain has never won a medal in skiing but maybe 2018 is the year to change that. In James Wood and Izzy Atkin they have two athletes who are in fantastic form and could make history on the slopes in Pyeongchang.
Skeleton is arguably Britain’s strongest event, winning a medal every year since the sport was introduced in 2002. Lizzy Yarnold is aiming to become the first ever British athlete to defend an Olympic title but will face stiff competition from teammate Laura Deas.
Despite the optimism from UK Sport, Gracenote Sports a data company who are regarded as the most reliable when it comes to predicting who will win the most medals, have forecasted that Great Britain will win six medals but no golds.
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